RogerEbert.com spoke with Brie about the collaborative energy of “Spin Me Round,” its personal components, when she had a nervous encounter Frances McDormandand more.
Do you believe in the idea of ”never meet your heroes”?
Yes, I believe in the idea of ”never meet your heroes,” but you know, probably because I know I’m bad at it. Every time I’ve met an actor that I really admire, it doesn’t go well. I feel so embarrassed, I think I’m getting too nervous. So it’s not for the reason that I think you’re implying, usually people say that as if those people are going to let you down. But I think I’m letting myself down in the interactions. i’m like Why didn’t I say the right thing to Frances McDormand that time? It was a terrible combination! I shoot a whole movie with it Meryl Streep, more scenes, and never told her how much she means to me! I think She doesn’t want to hear that, she’s heard that many times, just action! Just be professional! And then later I’m like, I feel like you could have told Meryl how much you love and admire her [laughs].
What did you say to Frances McDormand? Do you remember?
Oh god, it’s like… Yeah, I remember that unfortunately [laughs]. It was a few years ago when “GLOW” was on the awards circuit for a bit with “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” and so I had heard that she was a fan of the show because a few other people on “GLOW” were ran into her and thought, “Frances McDormand said she’s a big fan of the show!” So then I ran into her at the SAG Awards and I knew someone sitting at the “Three Billboards” table so I went over to say hi. I was kind of drunk and she kind of turned around and there was Frances McDormand who I just admired my whole life. And she says, “You!” And I say, “You!” And then she says, “No, you!” And then I say “Youuuu!” And she’s like [annoyed voice] “You.” And I thought, “Youuuu!” I could just feel that it was taking too long. Why did you keep saying “You!”? Finally she paused and I said, “Thank you so much, big fan! Sorry!” [laughs] I would love a repeat.
As a writer on “Spin Me Round,” how do you strike this balance between being critical of these dismal institutions — I keep thinking bagged alfredo sauce from the opening credits — without dumping on people like Amber? I’m curious how you and Jeff Baena did it in scripture.
Of course, I don’t think it’s ever our intention to dump on anything. I think we’re seeing the inherent comedy of a truly Americanized Italian restaurant chain driving people away to a program that’s as Americanized as the restaurant itself. There’s an inherent comedy there, but I think as an actor and a writer I approach all the characters with compassion. I think Jeff is the same way, we love all the characters that we create and try to see from everyone’s perspective in the story and what everyone wants and hopes for and how those expectations are broken. I think comedy has to have heart to it in order for it to be relatable. And it’s never fun to see people or characters being made fun of, I think you want to find what’s relatable to each character and then put them in awkward situations and that’s where the comedy comes from.